• In boys basketball, the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association heads into its final full week. St. Francis completed a regular season sweep of Park on Friday, so the top-ranked Red Raiders have to be filled with confidence. They play powerful Bishop Timon-St. Jude on Tuesday night, followed by a matchup with St. Joe’s on Friday. Among small schools, East Aurora has a nonleague game on Monday against Batavia of Section V. Then the Blue Devils wrap up the regular season Wednesday at Maryvale. Section VI officials will come up with playoff brackets on Saturday.
• Saturday also is the day for seeding meetings for girls basketball. Before that, Lake Shore has two more road games – a Tuesday visit to Cheektowaga and a Thursday game with Williamsville North. The small school poll is quite a scramble. Ellicottville, which defeated then No. 1 Franklinville last week, goes to Forestville on Thursday.
• The area’s top boys swimmers have one more chance to qualify for the state championships – and perhaps win a Section VI championship in the process. The last local meet of the season will be on Monday and Tuesday at the Flickinger Center at ECC City Campus. Teams from Orchard Park and Hamburg have plenty of swimmers who have had excellent regular seasons, and now they are pointing toward the state championships.
• Airport Lanes in Cheektowaga will be filled with high school bowlers once again on Wednesday and Thursday when the sectionals take place. The girls take to the lanes on Wednesday at 9 a.m., while the boys will move in on Thursday at the same time. Followers of this season’s results say it’s a good year for the girls, with several top keglers who could win the competition. Nate Maloney of Niagara-Wheatfield is considered the favorite on the boys side. Teams also can earn a spot to the states in Rochester.
• The Federation boys hockey playoffs get going this week. The pre-quarterfinals will be Thursday and Friday, followed by the quarterfinals on Saturday and Sunday. All of the games are at Northtown Center at Amherst. On the girls side, the state public school title was determined on Saturday, but the local teams go right back to work with the Federation playoff quarterfinals on Monday, and semifinals on Wednesday at Northtown Center.
• The best shooters in local schools will be in Alden on Saturday morning for the Section VI rifle championships. The best will move on to the next round at West Point on March 4.
• The Cross Training Athletes Good Character Award winners from the Section VI Division I Wrestling Championships were Lake Shore 285-pounder Shaerod Rodgers and West Seneca East 160-pounder Matt Walkden. The athletes selected for the honor are those who best demonstrate positive character qualities in speech, conduct, love, faith and integrity of the sport.
• We continue to seek help in picking the Prep Talk athletes of the week for the winter season. Coaches should send in nominations about outstanding performances to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday night.
Seth Glanowski scored the lone goal of the game and Donovan Boshier had 19 saves as St. Joe’s beat Orchard Park, 1-0, in Federation hockey. The Marauders not only avenged their one loss of the season, but they finished a stretch of four wins in four games that included a trip to Northern New York.
Elsewhere, Williamsville East and Hamburg skated to a 4-4 tie. Jack Kelly had two goals and an assist for the Flames.